The Culture Of Poverty In Los Olvidados

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Oscar Lewis’s paper, “The Culture of Poverty,” discusses many of the different ways poverty can shape people’s actions. The movie Los Olvidados has many examples of the types of lives one can lead in a poverty stricken society. Meche is a young girl that must face the harsh reality of womanhood early and Pedro is a young boy who does not know how to be good and suffers dire consequences because of it. These two characters stand out from the movie because they fit many of the observations from Lewis’s paper. Peter has no father figure in his life because his mother never knew his father and the other children’s father had passed away. His mother could not afford to send him to school so without an education he had no real prospects for getting out of the poor lifestyle he was born into. With that knowledge and his young age it is understandable that he choose to play with his friends…show more content…
The children and adults live in fear and without hope every day. They realize that the chances of any of one being able to rise out of their current place in society is slim. This fosters an atmosphere of distrust and resentment. Pedro’s mom did not want to take care of Pedro but instead gave him to the state. Meche lives with the fear in the back of her head that she will suffer a similar fate as Pedro’s mother. Pedro tried to become a better person but at every turn was pulled back by the negative people around him. Pedro is the only character in the movie to show ambition and a want to try and be or do better but his circumstances were to daunting to overcome. While the movie brings home that the solutions at the time were not working and the people were hopeless, Lewis brings home the fact that this point of view was what keeps down the poorer people. With no hope and little or no attempts at having a better life made what chance do any of them have but to repeat the cycle of
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